Mastercard has announced their next generation credit card. With an integrated fingerprint reader, the new cards are being tested in South Africa with a leading supermarket and a couple of banks participating in the trial.
The new cards add biometric security to the existing EMV credit card platform supported by all "chip cards". Incidentally, EMV is the standard Apple, Samsung and others built on to provide their own payment platforms.
The shift to using biometrics is a good thing and should lead to a reduction of credit card fraud. The current practice of getting the CCV along with the credit card number and expiry date is quite weak and magnetic strips can be skimmed with relative ease.
Ajay Bhalla, the president of enterprise risk and security at Mastercard said “Whether unlocking a smartphone or shopping online, the fingerprint is helping to deliver additional convenience and security. It’s not something that can be taken or replicated and will help our cardholders get on with their lives knowing their payments are protected.”
The new cards work like any other chip card. All that changes is the user keeps a finger over the card's fingerprint reader. Mastercard says merchants won't have to change their card readers at the point of sale.
Testing in Europe and Asia Pacific is expected later this year.